Lisa Hall-Wilson, the Queen Mum of Facebook, is back with some nifty tricks and a free giveaway! I’ve sat in on her Using Facebook to Build Author Platform (where she rocked my world) and I have a feeling y’all are going to clang those cowbells before you’re done here today.
Take it away, Lisa…
If there’s one thing you can count on about Facebook, it’s change.
Oh no – I don’t want to know… Now – hold on. I’m here to walk you through this because this change will help you. Honest.
I wrote for Kristen Lamb on Puppy Dog Eyes and LOL Cats a few weeks ago about one way to get better engagement on Facebook. I recommended you share a photo with a link to your blog in the description because photos get better engagement.
Better engagement equals better Edgerank equals more eyeballs on your content. That’s the name of the game, isn’t it?
Or is it?
If engagement is what you want, keep on.
Ahhh – here’s where we get techy.
A recent post by Facebook expert Jon Loomer has made Facebook managers everywhere questioning this best practice in the last two weeks. So I did a small test on the WANA Intl Facebook page which I administrate.
What are you using Facebook to do?
First, let’s examine what you want your Facebook profile or page to do for you. If you’re using Facebook to build a community or tribe, you want that engagement.
You want people to chat with each other, interact with your content, share your content. That’s how you organically grow your page’s audience and your tribe. Having good Edgerank is what you’re after.
But what if you want your page to drive traffic to your blog or website? You’re more interested in how many people clicked the link and read the blog than liked the photo, right?
There’re two stats that measure engagement. One is called Engagement (I’m going to call this Big E Engagement) and the other is called People Talking About This (PTAT). PTAT tells us how many users created a story with our content (shared, liked, commented). Big E Engagement tells us all that, but also how many clicks the content received.
Here are two examples for posting links. The one on the left is using a teaser status update with a link. The picture on the right is a straight link share. (To do this paste a url (link) in the status update box, and when the preview box appears, delete the link and hit post.)
Now based on the engagement each link received, which do you think was more successful in driving traffic? Let’s look at the stats.
Here are the stats for Captain Kirk. The first number is Reach – how many people could have potentially seen the post, the second is Big E Engagement (how many clicked, liked, shared, commented). The third is PTAT. Both posts received almost the same PTAT, but we’re concerned with Big E Engagement – how many people clicked the link?
Here’s the stats for the second example.
That’s 26 vs. 43 for the Big E Engagement.
If my goal is to drive traffic, which post was more ‘successful’? The second example without the teaser, by almost double. The better Big E Engagement stat boosted the Edgerank and increased the Reach as well.
These were posted on different days, but at the same time of day. Tip: When you’re just posting links blog titles and photos become extremely important.
OK – but what about the photos sharing a link? Let’s look at that. Here’s a typical example from the WANA Intl page.
12?? This is now performing worse than the status update links! Just when you thought you had it figured out…
The best practice until recently was to post a photo or status update with a description and a link. Essentially, we were ‘tricking’ Edgerank into showing your post to more people by disguising a link as a photo or status update. That doesn’t seem to be the best way to do it any longer.
This is a very small sampling of data. Edgerank and engagement are still important, and your overall content strategy should include links to drive traffic, but also post other kinds of content to add value for your fans. On the posts where your objective is to drive traffic off of Facebook consider this strategy. Take a look at your stats and see if what I found is also true for your page.
If you’re using a profile to build platform, try the experiment I did and check your blog stats. In the hour you post and perhaps the hour following when you post, how much traffic did you receive from Facebook? This isn’t a perfect method, but a good guestimate as to how effective your posting strategy is.
Will you be trying this experiment? Let me know how it goes! Do you think this is a good change by Facebook?
I’m doing a Facebook blitz this week to help promote my six week class, Using Facebook to Build Author Platform.
You can find me tomorrow on Marcy Kennedy’s blog talking about Facebook Jail and on Thursday at Jami Gold’s blog talking about whether you should have a page or use your profile to build your platform.
As thanks for hanging out and clanging those cowbells, I’m giving away a free written critique of a Facebook author/writer page to one commenter on each blog. Leave a comment on each blog to triple your chances of winning! Winners will be selected on Friday.
About Lisa Hall-Wilson
I’m passionate about making the world a better place one get-off-your-butt-and-do-something article at a time. I’m a call-it-as-I-see-it truth-teller & freelance writer, history nut & dog-owning cat lover.
I write dark fantasy fiction, make Facebook a happy place for writers, and blog Through The Fire because no experience is wasted when you share it to help others. I tweet but Facebook is where I love to hang out: www.facebook.com/lisawilsonwriter.